Wake Ed

Schools taking advantage of changes in state calendar law

For those who are grumbling about the makeup day options facing Wake County schools, it could have been worse.

Wake is already extending the end of the school year for traditional-calendar schools by one day to June 11 to make up one snow day. Wake could push it out to June 13 to get in two more makeup days.

Before this school year, Wake would have been locked in to June 10 as the last day allowed.

Click here for a history of the calendar law.

Under the state calendar law passed in 2004 that went into effect July 1, 2005, school districts were not allowed to start traditional-calendar schools earlier than Aug. 25 and end later than June 10. Before then traditional-calendar students were routinely starting the school year in early August, drawing complaints from the tourism industry.

School districts have frequently argued that the calendar law has restricted their ability to have enough makeup days in years where there are lots of inclement weather events. Extending the end of the school year was a popular option before the law.

Amid the complaints, the law was amended in 2012 so that, beginning in the 2013-14 school year, schools could start as early as the Monday closest to Aug. 25 and end as late as the Friday closest to June 11.

While the changes weren’t as far as what school districts wanted, the ability to push out the end of the school year to June 13 for makeup days is being used around the state, such as in Johnston County.

Based on all the makeup day issuses this school year, you’ll probably see more efforts during the legislative short session to change the calendar law.